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Education SOPs to knock out many

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Education SOPs to knock out many

Finalists to resume

The government has released detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guide the resumption of classes. But they are quite stringent that many parents and schools might find them prohibitive.

To minimize the risk of Covid-19 and ensure recovery of lost learning time, institutions are to review their programmes and prioritize curriculum completion as follows.

Schools shall operate either as day or boarding but not both.

There shall be no group and close contact co-curricular activities in all education institutions until further notice.

All education institutions shall avoid general assemblies that bring together a large number of students.

There shall be no external mock exams or other external examinations organized for students in secondary and primary schools.

Institution heads should ensure that all staffs integrate COVID-19 awareness and prevention messages in every lesson.

There shall be no career days, class days or official visitation days, in education institutions until further notice.

Mid-morning and lunch breaks shall be staggered and fully supervised by the teachers for adherence to social distancing, wearing of face masks and hand washing.

Institutions with large numbers of final year classes, which cannot be accommodated in the available classrooms at the social distancing of two metres, shall make arrangements to operate either: a. Morning and afternoon shifts.

Where this is applicable, the morning shift shall end at 12:30pm and the afternoon shift shall start at 2:00pm to allow for disinfection of the affected surfaces before the next shift or an alternate-day attendance schedule where different streams attend on alternate days as may be deemed appropriate, in a bid to ensure that numbers are manageable.

For boarding institutions, after-class afternoon and evening programmes shall not involve team or group and close contact sports or activities; and they shall be supervised by a dedicated team of staff.

Every dormitory shall have a resident tutor to supervise adherence to the SOPs.

Institutions should not keep learners beyond the official school closing time.

Management of staff capacity building
Schools that do not employ a qualified and dedicated health worker shall establish a formal collaboration with a health facility within a radius of 5kms for quick response and management of emerging health issues.

Each education institution shall work closely with the district Covid-19 taskforce to organize basic training for its staff on management of Covid-19.

Institutions shall build staff awareness and knowledge on Covid-19 safety measures through regular sharing of accurate information and literature.

Education institutions shall use only full-time staff, who shall not be allowed to part-time in other institutions.

Guidelines for transporting learners and staff
Parents are advised that under this emergency public health situation, they should, as much as possible identify schools nearest their home to enroll their children for the meantime to avoid risks, unnecessary costs and inconveniences of long distance travel to schools.

Schools in urban centres, where many learners need to use public means, are advised as follows:
The school administration shall register all learners and their modes of transport to and from school.

Learners who walk to school or are transported by private means to schools may continue to do so; however, they may not use public transport on any occasion, even when they cannot walk or be privately transported to and from school by their parents/guardians.

Schools shall ensure that the private means vehicles and drivers are registered with the school and are the only ones allowed to transport the learners.

The schools, working with urban authorities, shall organize dedicated vans on designated routes to transport learners, including learners with special needs, who cannot walk or be transported privately to school. Such transport should be within a radius of 5kms and shall observe the standard operating procedures for public transport as issued by H.E. the President.

Teachers who are not accommodated at school and do not use private transport shall use the dedicated school vans on designated routes.

Learners and teachers shall not be allowed to move to and from school on general public transport, including taxis, vans and buses.

Safe education institutions operation procedures
The following are highlights, clarifications and additions for implementation of the SOPs to guarantee safety and protection of learners and staff in education institutions.

Each institution shall constitute a Covid-19 Committee of not more than seven
(7) Members, including two (2) learners and a member of the support staff.

The role of the Covid-19 Committee shall be to initiate, implement and monitor measures for prevention of the spread of Covid-19.

It will also be the responsibility of Covid-19 Committee to collect, manage and pass on records of daily monitoring of learners temperature and other health conditions to the District Covid-19 Taskforce.

The District Taskforce shall takeover situation management in case of suspected or confirmed case(s) in an education institution.

Each class/lecture room shall have a student monitor responsible for promoting compliance to Covid-19 control and safety measures.

All education institutions shall ensure that all members of the school community observe recommended social distancing of at least 2metres, effective and frequent hand washing and proper use of facial masks that must be worn at all times. Each learner should have a minimum of two face masks.

Education institutions shall restrict entry to their premises by members of the public.

All education institutions shall ensure that adequate security and safety measures, including provision of a fence/ barrier and guards to restrict entry to and exit from institutional premises.

Institutions should guide and counsel learners against Covid-19 related stigmatization.

Effective Utilization of school
Each institution should re-arrange the sitting of learners using all available rooms within the school to ensure the required social distancing. This may include use of libraries, laboratories, dining halls, main halls where available.

Main halls, dining halls and other large rooms should be prioritized for use as classrooms to ensure that available teachers cater for a sizeable number of learners per class. However, such rooms should accommodate only the appropriate number of learners that ensures the specified physical distancing.

A foot-operated hand washing facility shall be placed at strategic point of access to each block (and floor where applicable) used by learners and staff. Schools are advised to improvise with available containers and local materials to provide safe hand washing.

Safe temporary shelters, such as tents, may be used as classrooms. Open air spaces, such as tree shades may be improvised as temporary venues for some classes.

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